VALÉRIEN ISMAËL : The play off mind games begin
Friday, 14th May 2021 15:22 by Keith Haynes
He has been hailed as the best manager Barnsley have had in years, bags of experience at the highest of levels and a football style revered by many. However Valérien Ismaël played a fine tune in his press conference this afternoon ahead of the first leg play off game between Barnsley and Swansea City at Oakwell on Monday.
He looked very calm, reflective and relaxed as Valérien faced the press today. He understands much of what is ahead is in the minds of the participants, and to that end he reset his clubs position in this years play offs quite cleverly.
“The other teams have more budget, better players and a bigger squad and depth than us. But we have our principle, desire and beliefs and the player can raise their own performances. Mentally, we are really strong and that is why we can compete on the pitch and we are clear underdogs. It was not an expectation where Barnsley would be where they are. But this is a reward for the players, who gave everything on the pitch from the first minute to the last. They are completely dedicated to the way we play and our principles. When you are focused, organised and believe in yourself and your strengths, everything is possible. The story is not finished. We go in without any pressure. No regrets is the motto. We want no regrets at the end of both legs “
Not like that, like this
Personally we know the underdogs thing is a genuinely good card to play at this stage, especially when placing in the minds of his players they have nothing to lose. We know Barnsley will play at a high tempo from the off, and the possibility of the swans losing the first leg is high.
“We are motivated to change the story against Swansea this season and we were a completely different team in December when we lost and we changed five regular players in the squad from now and are more confident. We respect the quality Swansea have in their squad, but we deserve to be here.”
Steve Cooper faces the media tomorrow afternoon.
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